Electric vehicle enthusiasts dedicated a charging station at the Deep River Public Library Saturday to the memory of two local pioneers who built their own electric cars decades before the major automakers.
Jack Gretta of Deep River and Bob Rice of Killingworth were early Connecticut members of the New England Electric Auto Association (NEEAA). Gretta and Rice converted conventional gasoline-powered cars into electric vehicles that they drove to work and around town. Gretta died in 2005 and Rice in 2011, but not before inspiring other area residents to build their own electric cars.
“While many of us were still driving our gas guzzlers over the last several decades,early pioneers like Jack Gretta and Bob Rice of Killingworth were out there challenging the status quo of gasoline,” said Dave Oliveria, NEEAA president and a Deep River selectman.
In remarks during the dedication ceremony, Oliveria recalled the day Gretta “lit the lightbulb in his head” and inspired him to build his own electric vehicle as they were leaving a Deep River Historical Society event.
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